Its been a long, cold, snowy winter.  We went through all our hay and had to buy more.  Very glad it is over.

Most of our weekend visits consisted of coming up, counting heads, and putting out hay.  Not exactly exciting.

We did burn 45 acres back in April.  That was fun.  The following weekend I spend a day helping burn a few acres for a neighbor – he helped on our burn, it was only fair I help on his.  A month later the burned fields are green.  We just had a gentlemen spray with clethmodim  to try and kill the fescue and favor the natives in those field.  Too soon to tell if its going to work.

We are up to 20 head now.  We had one born last August, one on 2/17, one on 3/18, and one on 4/19. (3) of the sisters are very, very, late – we expected calves from them in September.  We knew on the 19th that we were likely going to have the field sprayed.  We thought we knew for sure, but the man we had been talking too came out that Saturday and declared our hills were too steep for him – 4 days before he was scheduled to do the work… In any case, we managed to move 19 onto another field, thinking we had all 20, but the new mother apparently hid her calf before coming along.  Fortunately it was warm weather, because we walked around for 3 hours: me, Evia, Gabby and Frank, looking for that calf while it was raining.  Never did find it.  Opened the fence gate back up after giving up.

We confirmed a new guy would do the work a few days later.  I ended up making an emergency run up on a Monday evening, moved the cattle, managed to get all but the new mother and calf (again!), and came home the following morning.  My Mom (she is 88!) came with to keep me company and to see the farm – it had been a year or so since she had been up.

This weekend was suppose to be rest and minor chore catchup.  Alas, it didn’t start out that way.  The cattle were not suppose to be on the fields we had sprayed last Tuesday, but many were.  Blasted weak fence to blame.  Fixed the fence and spent a few hours moving groups of cattle off those fields and onto others.  Cattle may walk at the same speed we do, but they sure can run faster!  In fact, and its always cool when this happens, we had some galloping along side us at one point (we were in our Kubota RTV).  The weather was cool, there spirits were up, so why not I guess.  Think of a herd of galloping horses, except they are cattle, and we were in the middle of them.

Afternoon turned rainy, is spurts.  I managed to fix some fence grounding issue (not good when you can feel a voltage spike in what is suppose to be a ground wire) and drove another two ground rods.  Alas, can’t find the rod connectors I bought, so that project is on hold.  Goal is to re-route grounding to the (now) 4 poles driven along the fence-line and use the 3 pole grid by the house to, well, ground the house!  Grounding both to the same grid is a very, very, bad idea.  You don’t need 6000 volts of grounded potential backing itself up your house lines.  Fortunately, when complete, the grounds will be well over 100 feet from each other, so all will be well.

Slowly getting little things ready for coming out here full-time someday.   A month or so ago we upgraded our Internet connection to something reasonable.  May 1st I’ll start collecting my pension from my former employer, which will help.  That will be used to pay all farm bills:  electric, water, taxes, hay, diesel, retirement medical, etc.  If there is anything left, I’m going to try and see if an adjacent neighbor will rent me some land for haying.  With the number of cattle we have, securing some hayground would be a good idea.  I COULD hay my own ground, but the normal routine is that the hay guy gets half, and that would be exporting a lot of nutrients onto my farm.  Rather buy from neighbors and shift those nutrients from their land to mine.  I currently work from home 90+% of the time, and my current boss is OK with us eventually moving here and me working from her – thus the Internet speed bump.

Oh, this was unexpected:  This fall the local telco will be running fibre to all their customer homes.  So long DSL!  This will greatly increase the bandwidth I can buy and may well enable me to have a better connection at the farm than I do in town.
  Now if I just had a farm office as nice as my home office… oh well.  Making small steps in that direction too, at least I’m running with 2 monitors here now – the laptop and a medium size LCS screen.  Been slowly working on getting a custom firewall working up here, but always seem to be missing something.  Had it going booted off a USB stick, but apparently burned through that due to some reoccurring log file entries.